When one is unfamiliar with the U.S. criminal justice system, the many intricate parts and judicial process may seem confusing and possibly overwhelming. This may be particularly true if one has never before been charged with a crime, but is now facing the possibility of incarceration if convicted. A good lawyer protects the rights of the accused. His or her clients likely come from a wide range of backgrounds.
When first represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer, many clients have never before been charged with wrongdoing. Others may have previous convictions on their record and recognize the importance of hiring a skilled lawyer who will vigorously protect their rights. Regardless of which category you fall into, rest assured that your case will deserve the focus and dedication that it deserves. To this end, an attorney will carefully manage his or her caseload so that every criminal defense lawyer on their team has the necessary resources to present a solid defense strategy.
Is every criminal case tried in court the same way?
No. In fact, there is not always a jury. But regardless of whether or not a jury is present, there is always a prosecutor and a defendant.
- The prosecutor represents the state or U.S. Federal government.
- A criminal defense lawyer represents the defendant who is accused of a crime.
In addition, during a criminal trial, the prosecutor as well as the criminal defense lawyer begins the trial with what is called an “opening statement.” This is a brief summary of what crime the defendant is charged with.
- The prosecutor’s opening statement will also include a brief summary of why they believe the defendant is guilty and how they will prove that.
- The criminal defense lawyer’s opening statement will also include a brief summary of why the defendant is innocent and how they will prove that.
What is the role of the prosecutor?
In most instances, the prosecutor represents the local District Attorney’s office. In this role, the prosecutor is an Assistant District Attorney. That individual is often referred to as the “Assistant DA” or the “ADA.” Because the burden of proof is on the prosecutor, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime with which they were charged. In theory, a defendant is not required to do anything. They and their criminal defense lawyer could remain silent during the entire trial and only respond to questions from the prosecutor and judge. However, in order to inject as much doubt into the prosecution’s case and attack the proof they submit to the court, the criminal defense lawyer should take an active part in the trial.
Should I hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent me?
The answer is a resounding yes. Most persons do not qualify for free legal services from a public defender, but in most instances, hiring an experienced and successful attorney, like a criminal defense attorney from The Morales Law Firm, will provide the best chance for an acquittal or to have your charge dropped so you can avoid a trial altogether.